PAHO seeks adolescent and youth voices to address mental health crises in America – PAHO/WHO

PAHO seeks adolescent and youth voices to address mental health crises in America – PAHO/WHO

Washington, DC, 17 July 2023 (PAHO)- The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) today announced a competition for adolescents and young people aged 10 to 24, which aims to help address the mental health crisis in the Region.

Through artistic mediums such as painting, drawing, illustration, poetry, stories, videos and songs, the 2023 Youth Voices competition seeks to find innovative ways to inspire decision-makers to improve adolescent and youth mental health care.

“The purpose of this contest is to encourage the active participation of young people and adolescents in mental health, providing a space where their voices and perspectives are heard. It will also enable the design strategies to specifically address the needs of this group,” Dr. Sonja Caffe, Regional Advisor, Adolescent Health at PAHO said.

According to a recent PAHO report A New Agenda for Mental Health in the Americas, mental health problems among young people can have negative consequences on various aspects of their lives, including interpersonal relationships, school performance and long-term employment. According to the latest data from WHO, self-harm is the third leading cause of adolescent mortality in the Region.

The PAHO report emphasizes the importance of countries investing in the promotion and prevention of mental health throughout the life course, taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, which aggravated the risk factors for psychological well-being, particularly among young people.

The competition is open to adolescents and young people from all countries in the Americas. Winning prize entries will be announced on the PAHO website and will receive cash ranging from US$150 to US$500. The deadline to participate is August 17, 2023, 12hrs (ET) Washington DC.

More information about the 2023 Youth Voices contest and how to participate: “Youth Voices on Mental Health” Contest 2023 – PAHO/WHO | Pan American Health Organization